Mitral Valve Repair
Mitral valve repair is an open heart procedure performed by heart surgeons to treat mitral valve regurgitation (Leakage). Leakage can result from prolapse of the valve leaflet (anterior, posterior or both) (Picture below), retraction of a leaflet and/or dilatation of the mitral valve annulus. Less commonly, calcification, infection or tumors can affect the valve components and promote regurgitation.
When symptoms develop or progress to a declining in the patient functional status, or there is associated coronary or other valve disease, then surgery is indicated. In selected patients with mitral valve prolapse, surgery is warranted even in asymptomatic patient and early stages. (link to mayo article)
A typical repair consists of resection or repositioning of the abnormal segments of the valve and the use of a ring to decrease the size of the mitral annulus (A). Many different techniques are available and are tailored to the particular valve problem and individual patient.
The approach (way the surgeon enters the chest to expose the valve) can vary depending on many factors. Whenever possible, a less invasive approach will be used. This is the preferable approach used by our surgeons in isolated valve repairs and younger patients.
Mitral surgery approaches:
- Open standard (20 cm breastbone incision)
- Right mini-thoracotomy “small hole” (4-6 cm incision between ribs)
- Mini-sternotomy (4-6 cm upper breastbone split)
Our surgeons are very experienced in all aspects of mitral and other valve repairs. The repairability rates at Baptist Health Louisville are comparable to major centers in the country. Our surgeons have pioneered the use of these techniques in the region since 1996 and developed techniques of their own. A detailed explanation of the feasibility of a repair, type of repair needed, and the safest and less invasive approach option is discussed in length during the consultation visit.